Research: Cities can save time on records requests by doing open data right

Adopting an open data policy significantly reduces the number of public record requests that cities receive compared to cities that lack an open data policy. This was the major finding of a study I set out to conduct earlier this summer, to understand the relationship between the growth of open data policies and longstanding freedom of information laws….

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FOIA emails show concern about Pittsylvania County (VA) DSS board

Email records obtained by the Star-Tribune through FOIA requests from Pittsylvania County Department of Social Services Director Sherry Flanagan from August 2017 indicated Flanagan was ‘fearful’ of county administrator David Smitherman and worried her board would be eliminated. On August 15, 2017, Brenda Robertson, Administrative Assistant/Legal Assistant for County Attorney Vaden Hunt emailed Flanagan to, “please forward…

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Editorial: Can transparency, open data help fix the land zoning process?

Perhaps no other process of government that has such a significant impact on people’s lives is as opaque and less understood as establishing the rules for land use.

To systematically evaluate how land use decisions get made and how they might impact people and communities, more transparency and data is needed around the local zoning process. Continue…

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Open government group urges Delaware Governer Markell to respond to FOIA requests for “secret” emails

The head of a local open government group called on Governor Markell to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests for information about a "secret" state email account.

Delaware Coalition for Open Government president John Flaherty told WDEL News the Freedom of Information Act itself requires transparency on the part of elected officials conducting government business.

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Tennessee Sen. Jim Tracy sends open records bill to summer study

Legislation allowing local governments to charge fees for access to public records was pulled from debate this session for summer study designed to prepare a comprehensive open records bill.

State Sen. Jim Tracy, a Bedford County Republican who sponsored the measure, took the bill off notice recently after holding several meetings with interested groups such as Tennessee Coalition for Open Government and Tennessee Press Association.

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Local government officials make use of private email systems

As former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clintonís use of a personal email account has recently come under scrutiny, Charlottesville Tomorrow has evaluated the email practices of Charlottesvilleís City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.

Two of the 11 elected officials on these bodies advertise personal email addresses on their government website, and neither locality has made it a practice to routinely archive communications from personal email accounts.

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Local government officials make use of private email systems

As former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a personal email account has recently come under scrutiny, Charlottesville Tomorrow has evaluated the email practices of Charlottesville’s City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.
 
Two of the 11 elected officials on these bodies advertise personal email addresses on their government website, and neither locality has made it a practice to routinely archive communications from personal email accounts.
 

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